Healthcare Analysts Talk Valeant, Bluebird Bio
By Shira Gonen
Biotech analysts weighed in on specialty drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) and biotechnology firm bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE). The analysts are cautious on Valeant regarding earnings delays and the return of CEO Michael Pearson, while citing a compelling entry point in bluebird shares based on anticipated study data.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc
Analyst Irina Rivkind Koffler of Mizuho weighed in on Valeant following various announcements yesterday. The company announced the cancellation of its Q4 earnings call, the return of Michael Pearson as CEO following his temporary medical leave due to pneumonia, and the withdrawal of 2016 revenue guidance of $12.5 to $12.7 billion. Following this news, the stock plunged over 18%.
The analyst remains cautious on the stock, believing that the withdrawn guidance will negatively affect EPS and the current share price. She also notes that as a result of recent scandals as well as allegations of questionable business practices, "the trading multiple of the company is already significantly below its peer set." Koffler is also unclear on the effects of Pearson's return.
Continuing on guidance, the analyst questions the "feasibility," stating that "the Jublia recovery [is] anemic and [thinks] that Xifaxan is one of the few visible organic growth drivers within the company." She also comments on the Walgreens deal, stating uncertainty on the overall success and ability to turn the company around. Koffler notes that VRX investors should erase previous comments and "brace themselves for an entirely new story." She also notes debt issues should the company fail to file its 10-K by March 15.
The analyst reiterates her Neutral rating on the company with a $112 price target, anticipating updated 2016 guidance. Irina Rivkind Koffler is ranked #5 out of 3,781 analysts on TipRanks. She has a 61% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 33.4% per recommendation.
According to TipRanks' statistics, out of the 16 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 8 gave a Buy rating, 1 gave a Sell rating, while 7 remain Neutral.
bluebird bio Inc
Analyst Dane Leone of BTIG weighed in on Bluebird Bio, initiating coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and a $72 price target. The analyst notes that while the stock underperformed relative to its peers in the past year, the current share price, undervalued in his opinion, represents a compelling entry point for shares for a few reasons.
First, the analyst notes expected updates from the ALD-102 study on Lenti-D in childhood cerebral ALD, expected in April of 2016. Positive data points for this study represents an important step for regulatory approval and "[provides] positive de-risking events for key clinical programs." Related, the analyst notes positive findings from studies of Lentiglobin for betathalessimeia major non-β0/β0genotypes, released in December, and upcoming data from the anti-BCMA study which "could support positive revaluation of the earlier stage pipeline."
Dane Leone has a 61% success rate recommending stock with an average return of 2% per recommendation. According to TipRanks' statistics, out of the 10 analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 6 gave a Buy rating while 4 remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $87.11, marking an 88% upside from where shares last closed.
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